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Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Senior White House and Trump campaign officials are complaining bitterly about poor internal communication, blaming colleagues, pondering what jobs they might try to get next year, and lashing out at their new enemy: Fox News. 

The state of play: Aides told Axios they're dreading the prospect of Fox calling Pennsylvania for Joe Biden, which could make the conservative network the first to give Biden 270 electoral votes.

  • A Trump campaign official said the internal view was that it's essential to keep the race "optically" alive, and that if Fox were to call it, it would severely harm their efforts to support President Trump's (false) claims that he'd already won.

The incandescent anger at Fox within Trumpworld is hard to overstate:

  • Trump's advisers remain furious at Fox’s decision desk for its early call of Arizona for Biden, which was seconded by AP. Trump advisers have been unsuccessfully lobbying their contacts at the network to retract the call.
  • Fox hasn't budged. A graphic during news coverage last evening by lead election anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum: "FOX DECISION DESK STANDS BEHIND DECISION TO CALL ARIZONA FOR BIDEN."

Trump advisers are also venting at what they describe as a grossly incompetent post-Election Day operation. "I don't know what the message is," said one prominent surrogate who regularly appears on cable to defend Trump:

  • "There’s no organization or coordination. If I was to go on TV right now, I wouldn't know what the [blank] to say."
  • The source said that Trump surrogates, in the absence of official messaging and direction, have been sharing amongst themselves a tweet thread from Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel, who wrote: "Transparency is good. Will raise confidence in outcome."

A senior administration official said: "When Bush had this issue they tapped arguably the pre-eminent statesman of his generation, James Baker, to spearhead their legal and PR efforts, to great effect. ... We rolled out Rudy Giuliani, Corey Lewandowski and Pam Bondi. You can draw your own conclusions."

Go deeper

Updated Nov 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump campaign asks Georgia for another election recount

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Georgia will conduct another presidential election results recount following a Trump campaign request on Saturday.

Why it matters: State election officials and Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Friday certified Georgia's election results that show President-elect Joe Biden officially won the state by just over 12,600 votes.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

New deals in the COVID economy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 is the macro horror of our lifetimes, and has destroyed or severely damaged countless businesses. But, like with most horribles, it also has created some opportunities.

Driving the news: Merck this morning announced an agreement to buy OncoImmune, a Maryland-based biotech that showed promising late-stage clinical results for a therapy that treats severe and critical coronavirus cases.

2 hours ago - Technology

Biden's openings for tech progress

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images 

Item No. 1 on President-elect Joe Biden's day-one tech agenda, controlling the flood of misinformation online, offers no fast fixes — but other tech issues facing the new administration hold out opportunities for quick action and concrete progress.

What to watch: Closing the digital divide will be a high priority, as the pandemic has exposed how many Americans still lack reliable in-home internet connections and the devices needed to work and learn remotely.